At August’s meeting, the how and why of a new non-profit corporation, the Magnolia Intertie Incorporated, was described by Frank Howell K4FMH, President of the company. Why? “Fundamentally, we do this because we hams want to have ‘fun’ in the practice of our hobby. In this case, a linked backbone of repeaters around Mississippi will also be a great service to those in need of communications in times of emergency.” Over 35 amateur radio operators and those ready for the FCC examination were in attendance at this monthly meeting. The Intertie’s website can be found at magnolia-intertie.com.
Howell said he spent a full year researching other successful Intertie systems around the U.S. All had various suggestions on methods to utilize in linking repeater systems but all also had one definitive piece of advice: DO NOT try to organize a confederation of club repeaters! They said while it’s the quickest way to get a bunch of repeaters linked but it’s the most certain way to have it fail in a short time and with rancor between the Intertie and those clubs. Howell said that the Magnolia Intertie has heeded that set of recommendations. Clubs and other organizations, such as ARES chapters, MEMA, the National Weather Service, Storm Spotters, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, may apply to connect to the Intertie’s backbone system through a mechanism that is being developed by a working group of Board members and technical advisors, the Network Operations Working Committee. The NOWC is chaired by Mike N5DU. Mike is also the current President of CMSARA and Secretary-Treasurer of Magnolia Intertie Inc. (more…)
We promised that there might be a hurricane at the July meeting. There was! Well, of sorts. Bobby Graves KB5HAV has been a leader in the development of both the Hurricane Watch Net (hwn.org) and the Maritime Mobile Service Net (mmsn.org). Some hams are active in this segment of emergency communications while others are fairly oblivious to them.
The Hurricane Watch Net was founded in 1965 during Hurrican Betsy. An informal group of amateur operators saw a need to provide communications into and out of the impact zone. The HWN has operated since during every hurricane that is projected to reach landfall in the Atlantic, Carribean Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico. It developed and maintains a direct formal communication partnership with the National Hurrican Center in Miami. The Net activates on 20M at 14.325mhz and 50M on 7.268mhz whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of projected landfall or is a serious threat to a populated area. There are about 40 amateurs located in strategic locations around North America who officially support the HWN’s activities. (more…)
Remember the Haiti disaster? How about those in the Philippines? We all remember Katrina! The Salvation Army is a worldwide church who has a strong emphasis in disaster relief implemented through emergency communications. Bill Fiest WB8BZH attended the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference held last year in nearby Huntsville, AL. He plays a prominent role in the Army’s emergency network, SATERN.(more…)
Martin K5FLU explaining antenna and transmission line RF characteristics
Wow! The crowd in CSpire Auditorium in Ridgeland on Tuesday evening, March 31, 2015, was spell-bound by the mastery of antenna and RF transmission line characteristics exhibited by Martin K5FLU. If you don’t recognize that call, it belongs to Martin F. Jue, President of MFJ Enterprises in Starkville MS. He is the pioneer of the “antenna analyzer,” originally called the “SWR analyzer”.
For two hours, Martin showed the fundamental characteristics of resistance (R) and inductance (X) as they play out in amateur radio antennas and transmission lines. Coupling the MFJ-269C analyzer with the ARRL software, TLW, he gave a virtuoso performance educating the crowd of about 50 in attendance in Ridgeland.
CSpire executive John Nordan said, “We are most happy to serve as host for this very interesting meeting.” They played excellent hosts with audio-video support and making the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association bring off it’s first public program in Madison County, home to some 150 licensed ham radio operators.
Slides from Martin’s talk are available in PDF by clicking here. ARRL software TLW information can be found here and the software itself here.
Mike WM5A, Special Events Coordinator for CMSARA, said it best, “A good time was had by all.”
Our host, John Nordan, of CSpire gave our Invocation
President McKay welcomed the crowd on behalf of CMSARA
Frank K4FMH introduced our speaker
and made breaking news by introducing the newest product of the MFJ family to those in attendance...not authorized by MFJ!
Martin as a small boy at family grocery store in Hollandale MS
Being “vision-challenged” hasn’t stopped Jackson ham Mike Duke K5XU from experimenting with all kinds of antennas. One might say he has a love for antenna wire! During the March program of CMSARA, Mike shared a box full of antenna parts and pieces with personal histories of how he used them. Wow! Being a dorm mother at the Mississippi School for the Blind where K5XU attended must’ve been a boot camp in ham radio. Mike and his fellow non-sighted amateur OMs experimented with all kinds of make-do and “let’s see what this does” types of experimentation. Often making fun of himself, K5XU is a mature amateur radio operator. He is perhaps the “Dean” of hams in the Capital City area! (more…)